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There are some important differences.

For Hitler to institute a police state and declare a war of aggression, he actually needed to extra-legally murder a number of his opponents and even his allies, in the Night of the Long Knives, after which Germany's jurisprudes decided (of course) that such actions were perfectly legal. (I conjecture that all jurisprudes in all nations would do the same faced with such circumstances ... English judges already crap it when faced with the prospect of pissing off a 'democratic' parliament, so lord knows how they would do under the threat of being murdered ...)

But the US has gone to a similar stage without such a thing happening. Bush didn't have to draw up in a car with some of his mates and get them to start shooting people, and have the CIA do the same across the country. He just bullshitted everyone, and everyone said, 'Yeah, OK.'

The uncomfortable truth is that the people of the US have already exceeded the people of the Third Reich in terms of moral culpability for acts such as aggressive war and the murder of millions. You don't get killed for standing up to Bush. But you got thrown in the KZ in short order for standing up to Hitler. The penalty you face for resistance does have some practical impact on moral culpability. Very few people can be expected to be good at the price of their lives. It is reasonable to expect a higher standard from people who do not face such a cost.

Yeah, the death toll is smaller, but things are just starting up. And let's face it, the US has proven no slouch at killing millions of defenceless people in the past.

by wing26 on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 11:30:04 AM EST

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